10 Aug 2015

Canberra Airport lights up to support gay marriage

11:26 am on 10 August 2015

Canberra Airport has turned on a series of rainbow lights at its new terminal to "say yes to marriage equality" ahead of Parliament resuming and the expected consideration of a bill to legalise same-sex marriage.

The airport also threw its support behind the #WeCanDoThis campaign displaying signage with the message.

Canberra Airport lights up in support of gay marriage.

The airport got behind the #WeCanDoThis campaign. Photo: Twitter/Canberra Airport

"We hope that the rainbow image across the gateway to Australia's national capital will have similar impact to lighting up the White House after the historic US Supreme Court ruling determining marriage equality in the US in June this year," managing director Stephen Byron said.

Mr Byron said the issue was "personal" as his brother Tom Snow married his husband in New Zealand last year.

The Snow family own and operate Canberra Airport and join a list of Australian businesses throwing their weight behind same-sex marriage.

In May, some of the nation's largest corporations took out a full-page newspaper advertisement backing the move.

"We are attempting to highlight the deep, positive and strong feelings of the vast majority of the community in support of equality," Mr Byron said.

"Equality of same-sex relationships is an issue that is very important for Canberra Airport - not only because we believe that equality is an essential right for our whole community but also because it has a particular personal significance for our family.

"My brother Tom Snow and his husband were married last year in New Zealand with their children and our extended family as witnesses.

"It struck me at this time how ridiculous it is that my relationship, and my wife and children, are afforded the protection and support of our government, yet Tom and his family are forced to travel overseas to get married.

Mr Snow said it was "staggering" that he lived in a country where his husband and three children were "not afforded equal treatment".

"Now that we are married our marriage is not even recognised by our own Government," he said.

"When I made a commitment to my husband no-one else's marriage was devalued, no-one was harmed and the sky did not fall in."

Parliament began its spring season on Monday and the cross-party marriage equality bill was expected to be introduced and debated within weeks.

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